A sometimes serious, sometimes tongue-in-cheek look at work, life, dieting, losing weight, getting in shape, getting bent out of shape and getting over it with a dose of humor.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Day 2

Yesterday when I went to Whole Foods to get some tiramisu I also picked up a couple of Fontera pizzas that were on sale. Incidentally, while I am balancing my diet maybe I should also try balancing my checkbook. Last night I walked out with 2 frozen pizzas, a carton of milk and a single slice of tiramisu for $27, and that was with the pizzas being on sale. At least it wasn't like the time I bought 2 lamb chops, a small onion and a candle and they handed me a bill for $50. Now that was a surprise.

This morning I woke up and thought, "mmm.. pizza." Now that I am officially on a "diet vacation" where I can eat anything I want it's actually kind of fun to do the exact opposite and not eat anything I want. I have a good feeling about this. (And a bad feeling about myself. What does it say about me if I am constantly rebelling even against myself?)

I sat for a while with a small pen and paper. Since starting the program, actually, since starting dieting at 100-something lbs some 6-7 years ago, I think this is the first time I have thought about food with any kind of pleasure. It's fun the way planning workouts for the week is fun. There are a lot of things I want to do and I know I can't do them all this week and I should get at least two days of strength training and some cardio in no matter what so figuring out what I am actually going to do is a bit like solving a very interesting puzzle. If all I had to do were power drills that I hated - kind of like the protein shakes - then it would take the fun right out of it.

I can't believe how easy it was to draw up a plan involving egg whites and bran flakes, spinach, tomatoes & chickpeas and lean turkey and lettuce with one slice of pizza thrown in to keep things interesting. Planning the 20/20 meals, even during the honeymoon phase of the first few weeks, was never fun.

But then, food hasn't been fun in a really long time. Sure, I believe we should eat to live and not the other way around but life is too short to not take pleasure in the things you do. Ironically, this used to be my philosophy. Up until a few years ago. Somewhere over the last few years as I got busy trying to adapt my carefree spirit to a staid world and mimic the grown up sophistication that I felt I should aspire to I lost a lot of what used to make me, me. I don't care for rules and truth is, I have never really cared much for manicures either.

In the end, I did not exactly follow the menu I had drawn up this morning but it turned out okay.

Day 2:

8 am - 1/4 c scrambled liquid egg whites, 2 slices canadian bacon, 1/4 c blueberries, 1/4 c all bran, 4 oz skim milk

1 pm - 1 c steamed broccoli, 5 KFC hot wings

4 pm - 2 oz tiramisu + 1/2 cup skim milk (4 oz)

7 pm - turkey-lettuce salad, small apple or pear (planned)

Since I already had wings today I am keeping the pizza for tomorrow. I don't feel the pressure to have it so I can finish it and get back on a diet because there's no diet to get back to. Oh, and when I stepped on the scale this morning, it read 170.5 lbs. I know it's too early to tell if this is working but considering I have been at 171 lbs for weeks now I would say that's not a bad sign. Worst case scenario, I will find out that it isn't my new way of eating so much as changing up the routine that is working but at least, I will be smarter than I was before.

Morning weight: 170.5

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Day 1

I am pretty happy with today. Here's how today went...

Day 1:

7 am - 1/2 c blueberries, 1/2 c all bran, 6 oz skim milk

1 pm - 1 c steamed broccoli, 5 KFC hot wings

7 pm - chicken and veggie stir-fry (3 oz chicken, 1 c mixed veggies, 1 T teriyaki sauce)

8 pm - 2 oz tiramisu (yes, I did weigh it - some of the 20/20 lessons stuck!) and 4 oz. skim milk

The KFC hot wings weren't the most nutritious choice but I did get my 5 fruits and veggies. And the tiramisu was yummy if a little too sweet, I didn't overindulge and I remembered to balance it out with milk. So, yay me! I need to be careful about going too long between meals though as I got really hungry just before lunch and then again at 6 pm. Other than that, I think I did good. Sadly, no exercise today as I am nursing a knee injury back to health. It hurts so much to walk right now that anything strenuous is out of the question but I really hate missing my workouts. So we'll see. Maybe I will go for a light swim tomorrow. Like Jessica said on her blog I too feel silly swimming at 1 mph when everyone else is ripping through the water. But they probably don't even notice.

Morning weight (start weight): 171.0

100 Day Project Stats and Guidelines

Over the Christmas week I went to Paris, didn’t calorie count, ate anything I wanted and lost 2 lbs. I tried to practice moderation and balance my meals. E.g. A piece of fruit with the piece of cheese, a salad sans dressing with a piece of chicken floating in a delicious, creamy sauce, skim milk with a slice of tiramisu. But other than that, I didn’t restrict myself.

I didn’t workout either although I did walk just about everywhere averaging over 10,000 steps a day. That might have helped a bit particularly since it was so cold. I read somewhere that working out in the cold you burn more calories as your body has to work extra hard to warm you up. But I wasn’t expecting to lose weight. All I was hoping for was that I averted a huge gain. And then I stepped on the scale and found I had lost 2.8 lbs, my biggest 1 week loss to date. Granted some of it was water loss since I had just come off a long flight but the rest was real weightloss and it didn’t come right back the next day. In the end, I was still down 2 lbs at the end of that week.

Then I went back on my 20/20 diet and I have been stalled ever since. I was stalled for several weeks just before I went to Paris too. This, more than anything, is what led me to wonder if the diet is working as well for me as it does for some others. I’s not all the program’s fault. I am not good with rules. I don’t like being told what I can or cannot do. When faced with restrictions I either become apathetic or rebellious and that has been happening. I have gone offplan a few times and at other times struggled to even get to my 1200 calorie requirement out of boredom. But that still doesn’t explain why I can lose weight eating all I want in Paris but not when I practically kill myself over a diet here.

So, this - this question - forms the basis of my 100 Day Project. I have read up more on the effect of insulin on people with pcos since being diagnosed last year and I have found that food pairing more than the type of food seems to have an effect on blood sugar. My goal over the next 100 days is to find balance - that elusive balance I had in Paris when I was taking in the sights and enjoying life instead of obsessively watching every morsel that passes my plate or working out to the point of blowing my knee out. Who knows, maybe loosening up and more general awareness is the missing ingredient to my success.

Project stats:
Start date: today January 30, 2007 *
Start weight: 171 lbs
End date: Wednesday May 9, 2007
End (goal) weight: 130-140 lbs
Current red light number: 172 lbs (the weight I absolutely cannot and will not go over again)

1. Meal track daily.
2. Eat everything in moderation (try to make more healthy choices).
3. Find balance.
4. Stay active.
5. Have fun.

* At first I was going to start tomorrow but then I thought, why not today? What better time than the present? And since my general theme is everything in moderation I can get started right away. So, today it is.

Phase 1 Wrap Up & The 100 Day Project

Wow, I have been gone a long time. It wasn't until I logged on and looked at the date on the last post that it hit me. But I did stick to the program, for the most part anyway. And now it is end of Phase 1 and on to Phase 2, the maintenance.

So far I have lost 18 lbs which is both a good and a bad thing. On the one hand, it's still 18 lbs. On the other, it's only 18 lbs. That, in a nutshell, sums up my attitude about the program, the diet and my lifestyle in general at the moment.

It's good but is it good enough? In the case of diet the answer is most resoundingly a no. Over the weeks my dietician added a lot more dairy, fruit and grains and my cravings came back with a vengeance. I wanted to go back to a more structured regimen but I was discouraged and I wanted to give the program the benefit of the doubt by sticking to it as closely as possible. Sadly, for people with PCOS and insulin resistance I don't think the diet works as well because it fails to take into account that our reaction to certain foods is much stronger than that of people with poor nutrition habits but otherwise generally normal metabolism. The other reason I am convinced the program does not work as well for everyone is because I recently came across someone else with the same medical conditions as me who only lost 17 lbs overall. Since I would prefer not to become yet another failed statistic it's up to me now to tweak the program and make it work.

So, that's really the reason I am back. I have a lot of things going on as always and I need a mode of accountability that is fairly easy and accessible. Blogging is it. My plan is to start on what I have affectionately named "The 100 Day Project." This has the dual advantage of being a nice round number that makes me smile and ending just 1 week before my birthday thereby giving me ample time to cook up a proper celebration. More on that in the next post.

I am happy with what I have learned in 20/20. I am swimming regularly now, I can do a whole hour on the elliptical whereas I could barely hold my own for 20 minutes in the beginning and I know more about nutrition than I ever did before. My sugar is also down quite a lot (I was right on the borderline of diabetes with 125 when I started) and I have an increased awareness of what constitutes a healthy lifestyle. So, on the whole the program was definitely a success even if the results bring up mixed emotions. But I couldn't be happier that I am working out and planning meals more on my own now. This is the fun part. And I get to do it for the rest of my life!